by RVWA Member Angel Swindell of Freelance by Starfish Services
The “vibe” at the RVWA Coffee, Lunch, and Learn on Friday, May 15, 2020 was one of positivity, excitement, collaboration, and empowerment. Co-authors John Tinghitella and Nicole Martin provided a snapshot of concepts presented in their book, No Fear Negotiation for Women. Nicole and John started the webinar describing how they-created a safe and successful working relationship for both women and men as business partners. Then, they dug into the nitty-gritty (with an emphasis on strategies specifically geared for women)in navigating successful negotiations.
Nicole and John shared relatable, real-life examples that were open, honest, and well-received by the RVWA members attending the event. Nicole described what it was like to be the first female to attend a CEO peer group event and candidly talked about the impacts of the “Me Too” movement on workplace tone.
John touched on his struggle to achieve balance between humility and confidence in business. He shared how a decision to practice the art of listening coupled with observation elevated his personal awareness. John discussed how incorporating women and valuing them in meaningful ways brought his business to new heights. Nicole showed data that women’s compensation in the RV industry has not changed much but also said that the feeling for women “walking into the room” has generally improved. Although gaps still exist, she believes we are in an opportunity-rich period for positive change.
In adjustment to COVID’s impact on businesses, old management styles are being abandoned. Nicole reminded us, “you can’t control the world, but you can control YOU.”Businesses are starting to extend more of a cultural invitation towards women and appreciate added value they may bring in the areas of empathy, compassion, optimism, and flexibility.
New opportunities may mean potential negotiation. Negotiations can trigger fears that may be viewed and handled differently by the genders. John and Nicole think that one of the things women fear the most in negotiations is “crossing the line.” The struggle between likeability and effectiveness can lead to women opting out of a negotiation altogether. Nicole encourages women to push forward and not give up or walk away.
They discussed the M.P.A. approach to handling negotiations. John shared how critical having the right Mindset is and that understanding instead of avoiding negotiations gives you the power to frame conversations. Even if you get hurt or need a moment to collect yourself, Nicole says to keep reminding yourself “I control the script.”
Preparation is one of the ways to control the script. Our authors say to start preparations with data and facts, then confront your emotions and understand the needs of both sides at the table. They instruct us to create options and pre-establish boundaries based on a potential range of offers and outcomes in advance.
During the webinar, both Nicole and John encouraged women to Ask for more in a negotiation. They stated that knowing your value, assertion, and above all else…a willingness to engage will propel better negotiations. If you are unsure of your value, Nicole instructs to ask yourself one simple question,
“What would happen if YOU could happen to the future?”